Photovoltaic panels catch the sun despite the snow

July 20, 2022 9:55 am Published by

Alaska trials of icephobic coating show 85% increase in energy output

A Sandia-led research team has developed a transparent, polymeric-based coating that helps photovoltaic panels continuously shed snow and ice.

Early field trials in Alaska demonstrated that coated panels can produce 85% more energy, compared to uncoated panels. Preliminary data also show that the coating maintains its ice- and snow-shedding performance for multiple months.

The DOE Solar Energy Technologies Office funded the work, and longer-term studies are planned.

“The development of icephobic coatings, which can be applied to photovoltaic modules without compromising light transmissivity, has game-changing potential for photovoltaic power plant efficiency in cold climates,” said Laurie Burnham, Sandia principal investigator for a larger project on photovoltaic optimization at northern latitudes. “Sandia is very proud of this coatings work, which was largely done at the University of Michigan and led by Sandia, with additional technical support provided by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.”

Read the complete Lab News article.

Learn more about Sandia’s Photovoltaic Solar Energy Program and PV Optimization in Northern Latitudes.

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